Kangana Ranaut Says Bollywood Is Hypocritical For Supporting The Anti-Racism Protests But Not Talking About Issues At Home. Oh Well
A bunch of celebrities have been trying to show support to the #BlackLivesMatter but they probably don’t know it or haven’t realised that by putting up posts saying #AllLivesMatter, they are actually undoing the support they are trying so hard to offer. It is not uncommon for stars to pick and choose what movements they support and align their performative, sugar-coated activism with what looks best for their public image. Sometimes, they might not even feel strongly for it but the entire activity could be a great way to stay relevant. Despite having the platform to inspire millions, many choose to remain silent on the most pressing issues, often staying away from politics or anything that’s seemingly too controversial. The Black Lives Matter movement has crossed borders after the protests following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. Right now, it needs all the support it can get. Lots of celebrities have spoken out against racism and police brutality, and that includes Bollywood actors like Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor Khan, and Disha Patani.
However, Kangana Ranaut doesn’t seem happy with this. In a recently interview, she slammed Bollywood celebrities for speaking out in support of Black Lives Matter, but at the same time, ignoring issues closer to home.
Kangana Ranaut blasts Bollywood celebs for tweeting about black lives matter, blames ‘colonial slavery genes’https://t.co/jJGozPFbxH
— Hindustan Times (@HindustanTimes) June 2, 2020
Hindustan Times quoted her saying, “The Sadhu lynching happened a couple of weeks; still no one said a word. It happened in Maharashtra where most of these celebrities reside. Bollywood anyway is a derived name from Hollywood. It is a shame they (Bollywood celebrities) continue to live in a bubble and never fail to jump on the bandwagon, which can give them two minutes of fame, but ‘white people’ must drive the bandwagon. Perhaps, it is because of their pre-independence colonial slavery genes.”
“Even for environmental issues, you see them fight for a white teenage kid but so many incredible elderly women and even children. They are doing exceptionally well in India on environmental matters without any help or support. Some of them were honoured with the Padma Shri award. I was amazed to see their stories, but they never get the same acknowledgement from the industry. Perhaps, sadhus or tribal people aren’t fancy enough for the Bollywood crowd or their followers.”
Truth be told, Kangana, it’s a little more complicated than that.
If we were to take her statement at face value, she’s absolutely right. The support offered by these celebrities is performative and reeks of hypocrisy. Because we have had several incidents closer home that should have caused us to introspect have not evoked a peep from Bollywood. Then again, this isn’t an issue close to home, the political ripples os speaking up for or against something like this won’t invite the wrath of the fans who are willing to overlook this kind of stuff.
But at the same time, Kangana should clamber off the moral high horse she has perched herself on. She’s often backed the vitriol her sister has spewed at celebrities and other people of repute and they have been glaringly distasteful. Kangana isn’t the torch-bearer of all things nationalism and we can’t force what people should feel strongly about. Glass houses and all that.
And because Kangana wasn’t going to be dismissed with just statements that are questionable, she called the entire anti-racism movement a bandwagon driven by white people , which is stupid at best and spiteful at worst. Not to mention her jarring statement about ‘pre independence colonial slavery’ To talk about slavery so carelessly, be it of black people or brown, is extremely insensitive.
So yes, while Bollywood actors need to wake up and do better, they also need to start with themselves.